Brookfield’s police chief is strongly urging residents to be vigilant and to call 911 anytime they encounter suspicious activity in their neighborhoods after a series of daytime residential burglaries in the past month, with three happening in the span of a week.
Two of the break-ins took place on Feb. 16 within a couple of blocks of each other in the 3600 block of Arthur Avenue and the 3800 block of Harrison Avenue. A third happened Feb. 21 in the 4400 block of Deyo Avenue.
A fourth burglary, in the 8900 block of Monroe Avenue, occurred Jan. 30.
In at least one of the incidents, a witness noticed two men leaving the home that was targeted in the 3800 block of Harrison Street about 11 a.m. The men left the scene in a gold Jeep Grand Cherokee.
“People take steps to protect their houses as best they can,” said Police Chief James Episcopo. “It becomes more about neighbors looking out for everyone else. People think they shouldn’t bother us with something silly, but I’d much rather have people calling us.
“The phone calls are the key.”
In what may or may not have been related, on Feb. 16 a resident of the 9400 block of Monroe Avenue called police to report that about 10:50 a.m., a man appeared at the front door of her residence asking if “Alejandro” was home. When the man was told there was no one who lived there by that name, he left the area in a tan/brown SUV.
The person who appeared at the door, rang the bell and knocked loudly several times. He was described as a Hispanic male, about 20-25 years old with black hair, a mustache and wearing a black baseball cap.
The four homes targeted for burglary in the past month were unoccupied for most of the day. Entry to the homes was made in the rear of the property, typically by breaking out a window or a glass rear door.
Items taken from the homes typically have been small — jewelry, a laptop computer and a handgun — and easily carried out in a pillow case taken from the residence. The largest item taken from one of the homes was a 2-by-2-by-2-foot safe.
On Feb. 22, Episcopo issued a letter to residents, which was posted on the village’s website and emailed to village e-news subscribers.
“The best thing you can do for us is to try to get a good description of a suspect or vehicle,” Episcopo wrote. “Clothing descriptions and vehicle make, model, color and possible license plate can be the difference in solving a crime or not. In the meantime, rest assured we are aggressively investigating these incidents.”
Episcopo also encouraged residents to visit a website called, “A Comprehensive Guide to Securing Your Home” (https://www.safehome.org/resources/guide-securing-home/) to obtain more information on burglary prevention measures.